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Clackamas authorities seek tips in fatal hit-and-run – Updated

Posted by on July 30th, 2011 at 8:05 am

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is asking for help to find the person driving a motor vehicle that hit and killed an 18-year old man while he rode his bicycle early this morning. The crash happened around 1:00 am on SE Mather Road near SE Summers Lane, near Clackamas Town Center and about 13 miles southeast of downtown Portland (see map below the jump).

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Here’s more from the CCSO:

The vehicle that had struck the victim had left the scene before law enforcement had arrived.

Investigators with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Crime Reconstruction and Forensic Technicians (CRAFT) team determined a vehicle travelling eastbound on Mather Road near Summers Lane struck the adult male while he was riding a bicycle eastbound in the bike lane on the right shoulder of Mather Road.

The victim was thrown off the bicycle to the pavement. The vehicle continued eastbound on Mather Road carrying the bicycle several blocks before it too was left on the roadway.

Witnesses say the suspect vehicle may have returned to the scene briefly after the crash before driving away.

The CCSO says they’re looking for a “vehicle of interest” that has front end damage to its hood and possible the roof. The vehicle was described as a dark, possibly black, newer model GMC or Chevrolet pick-up truck wit ha white decal or sticker on the rear window.

Anyone with information concerning this crime is encouraged to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office’s confidential Tip Line — by telephone at 503-723-4949, or by using their online e-mail form. The case number to reference is #11-22804.

UPDATE, Aug 1st, 8:30 am: The man who was driving the car has turned himself in. More details via KOIN-TV.

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  • Spiffy July 30, 2011 at 10:43 am

    yikes, that’s right by where a friend of mine bikes… right around that time too…

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  • Randall S. July 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    In before “was he wearing a helmet”, “was he wearing reflective clothing” and “he shouldn’t have been riding on the road.”

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    • Heidi August 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

      I was impressed that the Oregonian didn’t mention any of these in their story in Sunday’s paper.

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      • Amy S. August 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm

        Local activists have been working very hard to lobby the Oregonian about their bias. Bikes are often run down by drunk driver. Like any innocent victim, there is no need to mention what the victim did. Keep up the education of the media.

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  • Kittens July 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    At least 2 lives ruined. I was driving around there about that time and have to admit, not really looking for bikes. Its just a car wasteland at that time of night. Reminds me that they can be where you least expect them.

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  • Amy July 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    “riding a bicycle eastbound in the bike lane on the right shoulder of Mather Road.”

    Where you least expect them? Looks like he was right where he should have been.

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  • rootbeerguy July 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Update link:

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  • rootbeerguy July 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm
  • Mike Fish July 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Scary that the ad on the link is for a BMW, saying it quenches your “thirst for power.”

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  • dmc July 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    “The vehicle was described as a dark, possibly black, newer model GMC or Chevrolet pick-up truck”

    “Deputies found his silver Honda Civic at his residence ”


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  • Bjorn July 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    they seem to have found the guy, he turned himself in after giving enough time that if he was drunk he’d be sober… We really need for killing someone in a hit and run to be at least as bad as killing someone when you are duii, because the current law rewards people like this guy for driving off and turning themselves in after they sober up.

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    • wsbob July 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      “…he turned himself in after giving enough time that if he was drunk he’d be sober…” Bjorn

      Got to agree with you there, that this may be quite a possible scenario. The tribune story reports that when sheriff’s deputies got to the driver’s place, he co-operated no further with the investigation.

      This is starting to sound very slimy, as if he may not only have driven off to give himself time to sober up, but also, to possibly call in alibis, and even a lawyer, for advice as to how to beat the charges, rather than advice as to what would be the right thing to do. I hope I’m just jumping to scenarios that don’t accurately reflect an honorable character that this driver may actually possess.

      Assuming he was intoxicated, maybe investigation will be able to locate witnesses that can help estimate how alcohol may have been in his system at the time of the collision.

      This is an especially tough break for the deceased’s family. The tribune story reports that Michael Vu, just 18 yrs old, was his father’s caregiver. His father sustained a traumatic brain injury one year ago.

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    • Otto July 31, 2011 at 10:34 am

      If he was drunk, it depends on how much he had to drink. It takes about one hour for the body to metabolize one alcoholic beverage. If he had a lot to drink it will probably still be in his system by morning. Also, the hit-and-run and possibly returning to the scene again is damning in itself.

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  • mh July 30, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Leads me to wonder how the TBI occurred. Probably a motor vehicle was involved there, too.

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    • matthew vilhauer July 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      are you kidding me? SERIOUSLY!!!! part of being human involves a concept called compassion. i’d suggest you try to find some. making the leap as you have is totally disrespectful to the victim in this situation.

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    • dmc July 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm


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      • matthew vilhauer August 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

        life isn’t a game scored on a point scale.

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        • dmc August 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm


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  • K'Tesh July 31, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    My prayers go out to Michael’s family. I hope justice is swift.

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  • dmc July 31, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Michael, travel well my friend. We will ride soon. :)

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  • Dave August 1, 2011 at 7:36 am

    they seem to have found the guy, he turned himself in after giving enough time that if he was drunk he’d be sober… We really need for killing someone in a hit and run to be at least as bad as killing someone when you are duii, because the current law rewards people like this guy for driving off and turning themselves in after they sober up.

    It’s also time to rewrite DUI law so that any driving while intoxicated is classified as attempted murder.
    Not manslaughter or some other pussy description–MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • JC4EVR August 1, 2011 at 7:48 am

    What makes everyone assume that he was drunk? How would you react if you hit someone? Your life would never be the same! I think the driver feaked out! It took him a while to figure out the reality of the situation. At least he turned himself in, his conscious got the better of him. I’m not approving his actions but you have to put yourself in his shoes… Prayers go out to Michael’s family and friends.

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    • Greg August 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

      The odds are pretty good that anyone on the roads at 1:00am are intoxicated. Add to that being involved in an accident and the odds go up. Then add fleeing the scene and they go up again.

      The perp may not have been under the influence, but it is reasonable for people to jump to that conclusion.

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    • wsbob August 1, 2011 at 10:57 am

      “What makes everyone assume that he was drunk? …” JC4EVR

      Given the details reported in the news to date, I think it’s logical for people to assume it’s…possible…that the driver of this car was intoxicated. More specific info about how this person responded to sheriff’s deputies upon their request that he help them with their investigation of the collision could shed additional light on the question of whether he was drunk or not.

      At any rate, the driver of the car apparently collided with and killed someone riding a bicycle. How did that come to happen? This is what needs to known. If he wasn’t intoxicated, or somehow negligent in the operation of the vehicle, that would reduce the severity of his involvement in the death of the person on the bike.

      For everyone’s sake, I hope this is what turns out to be the truth…maybe there will be a reasonable explanation for…his action in driving away from the scene of the collision, assuming that report is accurate…or at least an explanation for that action that will allow people to feel more compassion for this driver, than they likely could for people that wreak tragedy upon others by driving intoxicated.

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  • Dude August 1, 2011 at 8:38 am

    These scofflaw motorists are out of control. I’m all for driving, but these people really just don’t respect the laws and endanger other peoples’ safety. Something has to be done about this.

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  • Brian E. August 1, 2011 at 11:23 am

    When it develops, please post the mug shot along with the perpetrators name and accused crime.

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    • Alan 1.0 August 1, 2011 at 10:39 pm

      KATU identified the driver as Artyom Pavlenko and posted his picture (he turned 29 on Monday). He turned himself in 11 hours after the crash. KATU said police found the car at his house with “the windshield smashed and hood crumpled.”

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  • Duncan August 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    ? How would you react if you hit someone? .

    by thinking not about myself but about the person bleeding on the (explitive deleted) road!

    1) call 911 <— this one thing can be the determining factor as to whether the person lives or dies. The sooner an accident victim reaches defnintive care, the better their chances of surviving.
    2) Get to the injured person. Identify yourself and render aid as you can. Keep them from getting hit again.

    This is the heart of what is wrong with us- we are so concerned for ourselves we forget that we have a duty to our fellow citizens, and to deal with the consequences of our actions. Hitting the cyclist was negligent, but driving away was criminal.

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  • Duncan August 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    part not heart..

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  • Jay August 3, 2011 at 8:53 am


    So, why was Manslaughter II dismissed?


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  • Spiffy August 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I ask why these people are still alive… his actions demand he cease to exist…

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  • John Lascurettes August 4, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Why oh why do I read the comments on KATU? Full of people blaming the victim and excusing the driver saying it would be a “shame to ruin two lives” over an “accident” by prosecuting the HIT AND RUN driver that KILLED someone.

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  • Chris I August 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Hit and run should be at least on par with a DUII crash.

    This is a sad story. His father is a coworker of mine (large company, didn’t know him personally). He has been out of work since last year with a brain injury. His son was taking care of him. So now the family has lost a son, and has a father with serious medical issues to care for.

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